Progress reported on Mid-Breton Sediment Diversion scheme

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has updated the status and shared the implementation timeline of the Mid-Breton Sediment Diversion on the Federal Permitting Dashboard.

The update indicates that the expected release of the draft environmental impact statement for this project will be November 2022, and a record of decision is expected by February 2024.

Restore the Mississippi River Delta – a coalition of national and local conservation organizations working to restore Louisiana’s coast including Environmental Defense Fund, the National Wildlife Federation, National Audubon Society, Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana and Pontchartrain Conservancy – issued the following statement in response:

“Louisiana is losing land, and we’re losing time. We need to act with urgency to build and maintain vital wetlands in order to protect communities from the worst impacts of flooding from storms and sea level rise. We also need to protect wildlife from ongoing land loss and restore forests decimated by saltwater intrusion.

“The Mid-Breton Sediment Diversion is vital to maintaining a sustainable coast for the people and wildlife of our entire region. The timeline made public today shows that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and Louisiana’s Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority are committed to working together to address our land loss crisis with urgency.

“It is critical that the agencies collaborate to meet the milestones they have committed to, while ensuring the environmental review process is thorough, transparent and accessible for all stakeholders. The Corps has already made progress on that front by holding virtual scoping meetings to provide information and opportunities for engagement, while still maintaining public health and safety in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic.”

Background:

The Mid-Breton Sediment Diversion, which will be located on the east bank of the Mississippi River in Plaquemines Parish, is currently in the engineering and design phase of implementation.

The project will convey fresh water and sediment into nearby deteriorating marshes to build and maintain 24 square miles (15,800 acres) of land over the next 50 years.

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